Summary: A little different sermon on the JUDGMENT of King Adoni-Bezek and how we can relate it to our lives.
I don’t tell you this story to be intentionally gory. I have a reason for it.
But I have a good friend who is a retired Full Bird Colonel. He served many years in the U.S. army. He served all over the world but one of his assignments was to be in charge of a large group of soldiers stationed in Saudi Arabia. While there his commander ordered him to take a group of soldiers to the downtown area of the city where they were stationed. The leader of the area had requested that a group of U.S. soldiers come and witness their form of justice. To get along with the Saudi’s, this commander told my buddy to take the group on down there.
When they got there it was an open area with little hand rails set up in a row. The local government was going to punish those who were guilty of THIEVERY. STEALING. As everyone watched, the police brought out both men and women and tied their right arm down to these handrails. In a very systematic way a person would come along and wipe the wrist down with some form of antiseptic and then another person came behind with a scalpel and CUT OFF the Right Hand, right at the wrist and threw it in a bucket. There was no pain killers. The people would SCREAM OUT in pain. Some would faint. The open blood vessels were tied off and some stitches were put in and that was about it. If the person had family they would take them home to recover. My buddy said the whole ordeal was done in just a few minutes.
Now folks, I’ve heard people say, “We ought to take care of criminals like they do over in Saudi Arabia. We wouldn’t have so much thieving if we did.” Maybe not, but I’ll be honest with you. I really don’t want to live in that type of society. A society that would permanently maim someone for stealing.
I’m all for stiff penalties against law breakers. I believe in Capitol Punishment. I believe it is a deterrent. If I know that I will be killed for killing someone else, it does make me think twice before committing the CRIME. And in this passage we’re going to read, the PUNISHMENT that was dealt out to King Adoni-Bezek was for more than just a way to be CRUEL. It was a DETERRENT.
Let’s go ahead and read Judges 1:1-7 and we’ll get into our message.
“Now after the death of Joshua it came to pass, that the children of Israel asked the Lord, saying, Who shall go up for us against the Canaanites first, to fight against them?
2 And the Lord said, Judah shall go up: behold, I have delivered the land into his hand.
3 And Judah said unto Simeon his brother, Come up with me into my lot, that we may fight against the Canaanites; and I likewise will go with thee into thy lot. So Simeon went with him.
4 And Judah went up; and the Lord delivered the Canaanites and the Perizzites into their hand: and they slew of them in Bezek ten thousand men.
5 And they found Adonibezek in Bezek: and they fought against him, and they slew the Canaanites and the Perizzites.
6 But Adonibezek fled; and they pursued after him, and caught him, and cut off his thumbs and his great toes.
7 And Adonibezek said, Threescore and ten kings, having their thumbs and their great toes cut off, gathered their meat under my table: as I have done, so God hath requited me. And they brought him to Jerusalem, and there he died.”
This punishment that the men of Judah and Simeon dealt out seems so CRUEL and maybe UNCALLED FOR. But yet it was JUSTICE. Plain and Simple. King Adoni-Bezek had it coming. He says it himself there in Verse 7,
“So God hath Requited me.”
“God has RETURNED the PUNISHMENT that I have DEALT out to others.”
I believe every part of the Word of God can be related to our lives. I think that’s the JOB of the PREACHER. And that’s what I want to do this morning. I want to bring out the message that God has given us today.
So before we get into this message I want to ask _________ to come up and lead us in Prayer.
You know when I read this it’s really great to see the Children of Israel doing well. Their leader, Joshua, has died and what do they do? They INQUIRE of God, they ask the Lord who should be the first to go up and fight against the Canaanites? And God answers them ….. “JUDAH”. Judah says, “Ok, Simeon, will you help us?” And Simeon says, “YOU BET, we’ll go and help you fight.”